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Exposing Adventism - Why was Ellen White disfellowshipped?

The reasons given by Mrs. E. G. White for her disfellowship from the Methodist Episcopal Church in Chestnut Street, Maine, U.S.A. in September, 1843 (shortly before the first failure of William Miller's time setting) is one of the two earliest examples, based on contemporary documents, of Mrs. White's failing of prevarication.

Prevarication is to act or speak evasively; to circle around the truth but not tell quite the whole truth; to state something so that superficially it is true, but information is withheld which causes the hearer to gain a false impression.

Regarding the disfellowship of the Harmon family, which included herself as a girl of sixteen years, Mrs. White insisted in her biographical memoirs ("Spiritual Gifts," Vol. II, pp. 21-26) published in 1860
that the reasons for the disfellowship were:

  1. Because she "rejoiced in the soon coming of Jesus."
  2. Because she "longed for Jesus to come."
  3. Because she "wished Jesus to come and save his children."
  4. Because she had "stated, that when I had lived nearest to the Lord, the more earnestly did I long for his appearing."
  5. Because she told them "what Jesus had done for me, through the belief of the near-coming of the Son of God."
  6. Because she said "it was Christ and the hope of his soon coming that made me free."
  7. Because "the entire (Harmon) family were interested in the doctrine of the Lord's coming."
  8. Because they were "looking for and loving the appearing of our Saviour."
  9. "The only charge brought against us was that we had walked contrary to their rules. It was asked, 'What rules have we violated?' After a little hesitation it was stated that we had absented ourselves from the class meeting and had attended other meetings, and they considered that we had violated their rules. (Note how Mrs. White evades stating that the meetings were the Millerite meetings. - K.M.)
  10. Because "if they mentioned the coming of the Saviour or their love for his appearing, there was a hard pressing spirit against them and such displeasure manifested that there was a plain division of feeling and we knew if they loved Jesus they would love to hear of his coming."
  11. Because "they wished it understood that it was not for immoral conduct that we were turned out, but for a breach of their rules." 'We were all pushed out of the church because we believed and talked the near coming of our Saviour."
The full truth of the matter is that the Harmon family was disfellowshipped for believing and teaching, in particular in the Methodist class meetings, the heretical time-setting doctrines of William Miller whose five "prophetic periods" all terminated in October, 1843. At that time the gospel dispensation would end, probation would be closed and the Day of Judgment would occur. See the full statement of the Stewards and leaders of the Chestnut Street M.E. Church.

See http://www.truthorfables.com/Reasons_EGW_Harmon_family_disfellowshipped.htm

What did the Methodist Church have to say?
As you can see from the enclosed photocopies of the original church records all the members of the Harmon family were dismissed in September, 1843 from Chestnut Street Church on the grounds of breach of discipline. You will note too that Robert, Sr., Eunice and Sarah include the phrase under, peculiar circumstances.
The reason for their dismissal was not that they preached the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is a tenant of our orthodox faith which is confirmed from the Articles of Religion 1784.
Their dismissal was occasioned by their breach of discipline in proclaiming the views of William Miller's time setting. I read these entries to mean that after much quiet counsel to refrain from their disruptive behavior in church meetings the members of Chestnut Street Church took what they believed to be their only recourse, to dismiss the Harmon Family.

See http://www.truthorfables.com/Methodist_Church_Letter.htm

 

 
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Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.